When you’re loading precision ammunition, measuring powder charges is both critical to good accuracy, and time consuming. So it’s important to select the right powder measure with the right features. Forster has re-introduced their Bench Rest Powder Measure, and in this story, we’ll take a hands-on look!
About the Forster Bench Rest Powder Measure
The Bench Rest Powder Measure was once offered under the Bonanza brand (as was the Co-Ax reloading press). Now Forster again offers the Bench Rest Powder Measure. Here’s the information from the Forster Product Page:
The Bench Rest® Powder Measure keeps your powder flowing evenly. Its long, narrow, powder-charge reservoir minimizes shearing.
The charge arm meters the powder and dispenses a flow of consistent charges using your choice of gun powder. For example, it will measure from 2½ grains of Bullseye to 95 grains of IMR 4320 or Alliant Reloder 15.
The powder hopper is designed to eliminate variation in charges due to changes in the volume of powder contained in the hopper. The small outlet on the hopper serves as a built-in baffle, regulating the powder leaving the hopper and entering the measure in a uniform manner.
The Powder Measure comes with two large drop tubes for large and small capacity cases. The integral C-clamp fastens securely to a bench or shelf. An optional Stand is sold separately.
With the superior design of our Bench Rest Powder Measure you are able to achieve repeatability within 1/10th of one grain, along with throwing a charge every 4 seconds.
What’s In the Box
The Forster Bench Rest Powder Measure comes with what’s shown above (stand available separately):
- Main body
- Extra drop tube (comes with both 22 cal and 30 cal drop tubes)
Testing the Forster Bench Rest Powder Measure
The first test conducted was hopper capacity. Using a powder of medium density (Hodgdon H-4350) the capacity was measured at 0.900lb:
Second, I performed three powder charge weight consistency tests. I selected three powders: Hodgdon H-4350, Accurate Magpro, and Hodgdon H-1000.
In order to prepare for these tests, I completed the following tasks in preparation:
- During assembly: thoroughly degreased all internal parts with acetone
- Wiped down the hopper and other powder measure parts with an anti-static dryer sheet
- Ran a VERY small quantity of dry neck lube (graphite powder) through the press, and used compressed air to blow out excess. This prevents powder granules from sticking to the internal parts, and also provides lubrication for the internal parts.
- For each powder tested: ran 20-30 charges into a cup in order to bring the powder measure up to “steady state”
For the charge weight consistency tests, I’m using a very sensitive lab scale, the AND EJ-54D2 from Cambridge Environmental which is capable of sensing 0.003 grains!
These tests are pretty straightforward: I threw 10 charges for each powder, and recorded each value in a spreadsheet!
Results: Hodgdon H-4350
Results: Accurate Magpro
Results: Hodgdon H-1000
These results are pretty amazing! Less than +/- 0.1 grain for the Standard Deviation numbers. If you are going to throw a charge and “Trickle Up” to the exact value, this measure will get you extremely close which will save you time at the bench! For most loading scenarios, you won’t need to trickle at all.
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